Several of our Brown Belts (Ikkyu) will be testing for Black Belt in less than two months. You might imagine what’s going through their minds as they train hard for what’s to come.
Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts contains aspects of several martial disciplines — Karate, Kung Fu, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Ch’uan Fa, Judo, Jujutsu, Aikido, Kobudo — to name several.
From the art of Karate we receive the concept of Four K’s –
- Kime – Focus (Decision)
- Kihon – Fundamentals (Basics)
- Kata – Forms (Patterns)
- Kumite – Fighting (Self Defense)
Kime must be present in every aspect of martial arts. From the moment we enter the training hall our full attention should be focused on the purpose for being there. We should never lose that focus during our training. Focus on your instructors and fellow students as well as yourself. Always compete “by the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5) in training, testing and defending.
Kihon is every individual aspect of the martial arts. That includes bows, stances, escapes, blocks, strikes, traps, throws – everything. We do not have any ‘unimportant’ Kihon in martial arts. If it is unimportant, it is not part of our curriculum. Why learn something that is unimportant?
Kata is the combination of Kime and Kihon in a movement pattern that emulates the example of your instructors to the best of your ability. Bunkai (analysis) is the process of breaking down (disassembling) each part of the Kata to discover the fighting/defending aspects of the movements.
Kumite (grappling hands) is both the pre-arranged and freestyle use of Kihon and Kata on a real opponent (partner).
One way to remember the process is this –
“Kata is birthed in Kihon and revealed in Kumite.”
Testing for Black Belt includes a testing of Kime, Kihon, Kata and Kumite. A Black Belt must excel in each area as they move on in their journey.